Saturday, 18 September 2021

DEATH IN THE POT

 


I was thinking this morning...... Returning from Church one Sunday morning, I was desirous of having fruit salad. On getting to the fruit shed at the junction of my street, I noticed something bizarre. I observed the 'aboki' trader pour some sachet detergent into a bowl of water, stirred it to foam and then started dipping the pawpaw and pineapple in and washing them like a piece of dirty shoe. In my shocked state, my head spurn as my thoughts screamed.

Then I recalled the incident of 26th August in Umueze, Umuahia North LGA of Abia State, where seven members of the same family died after eating the popular barbecue known as suya, with an undisclosed brand of juice drink. Ahh! What's going on?

As I pondered days ago, I watched a video of how a stockfish (okporoko jabajaba) seller was seen using the popular Sniper insecticide to preserve stockfish at Oyingbo market in Lagos. As the lady that caught him on video lamented and asked the aboki why, he responded 'No any fish wey dey for Nigeria wey dem no put this medicine.' Really?

Sniper insecticide belongs to the DDVP chemical family (dichlorvos) and is adjudged by many as being potent in killing cockroaches and other insects. It has also become the handiest chemical used by suicide victims in Nigeria to terminate their lives. Yet, the aboki says 'No any fish wey dey for Nigeria wey dem no put this medicine.' Chai!! Oh God, there is death in the pot.

I have watched videos of fruit sellers washing the fruits in open sewer drains (gutter). Another video showed a petty trader sprinkling a detergent solution to hydrate his tigernuts before tying them in small packs for sale and consumption. An unsuspecting buyer will buy these contaminated fruits and nuts, not realising that 'there is death in the pot.' God abeg o!

We've focused on death from guns (bandits and BH) and death in the air (Covid), but we've been silent on 'death in the pot' that is causing all manner of diseases including cancer in Nigeria.

Who will deliver Nigerians from this death in the pot? Now I am scared of mama-put and party food. Should we stop eating food that we know not the source of the ingredients? Should I start subsistence farming to harvest the food I will eat or should I just port from Nigeria? Whatever the answer, I join my voice to that of the sons of the prophet in 2nd Kings 4:40 'And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot.'

Please join hands to kill the ignorance and not Nigerians.

#safefoodfornigerians

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 11 September 2021

MAN AND NICKNAMES

 


I was thinking this morning.... as I listened to Pst E.A Adeboye give his sermon last Sunday at the dedication of Rev Esther Ajayi's new church in Lagos, I went down memory lane thinking about the multiple nicknames or aliases I have been known by since birth.

For most people, your dominant nickname depends on the phase of life you are in. After I was born, my parents gave me the Itsekiri name Oritseweyimi meaning 'God's got my back.' But as a baby, I am sure many called me 'bomboy' because that was the name Warri people called every male child.

As I grew up and ready to begin school, it became obvious that I wasn't as tall as my mates. That immediately gave me another nickname as adults started calling me 'ete' (short man) or smallie. Though I found this alias quite annoying, there was nothing I could do. The alias stuck through primary school until I got into secondary school. As my academic brilliance shone, a new nickname emerged. For some reason, my parents and uncles chose a profession for me and started calling me doctor. Depending on who is doing the calling, one might wonder if the aim was to see me become of medical doctor, academic doctor or native doctor. Lol...

Finally, I got into the University and for the first time, had the opportunity to influence what my nickname will be. It was after we did Botany 204 in our second year that we had to give ourselves scientific names. Having been intrigued by such names as Mangifera indica (Mango) and Bamboosa aridinarifolia (Bamboo), I chose 'Weyimiliscus Kpoliae' birthing my alias for the next 20 years. Friends and those that knew me from university started and still call me 'Kpoliae' which was derived from my family name, Kpoli. Others called me Wemo.

As time went by, I joined the corporate world, began writing and became an author. I upgraded my alias to be 21st century compliant and was now to be simply called Wey Mey.

As I started a family and became a leader in church, I was now being called by new names. While my children call me daddy, in church circles, they call me pastor or bishop and sometimes 'daddy.'

Fact is, when you are young, people call you by what they think of you. When you are of age, you determine what you should be called but as you get older, people will call you by the impact you make on their lives. The difference between 'Baba-agba' and 'Baba-agbaya' is impact. Which would you rather be in your latter years? Are you making the right impact, because whether you like it or not, people will call you a name. No wonder Jesus asked in Mark 8:27 ' Who do people say that I am?'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 4 September 2021

NAIJA HIRED ASSASSINS

 


I was thinking this morning.... Nigerian clergyman and actor, Mike Bamiloye, of the Ishawuru fame, has posed a humorous question that got people talking days ago. The 61 years old founder of Mount Zion Movies and Faith Ministries, had written on his Instagram page 'You dressed seductively to church, you dressed to kill. You danced suggestively to praise and worship songs. You danced to kill. You tag yourself 'Slayqueen' in the house of God. Are you a HIRED ASSASSIN?' My answer is yes, they are Spiritual Hired Assassins.

As I mused, I realised that there are many other hired assassins around us. So many uneducated entertainers and yahoo boys have been pushing the narrative that 'school na scam.' This was made worse, when we see scarcely educated touts becoming politicians and ending up being members of the state and national assembly or even holding other critical executive positions. What kind of message are we passing to the younger generation?Situating it with the Slayqueens, these people are 'Educational Hired Assassins.'

I visited the hospital last week. While waiting to be seen, a car drove in with a patient breathing with the aid of a cylinder of oxygen. He obviously had Covid-19 and was being prepared for ICU. I understand  that treatment of Covid-19 patients in private hospitals in Port-Harcourt cost about N3m while in Lagos it costs between N5m to N10m. Yet, the Government allowed the resident doctors and health workers to go on strike (10th time in 6 years) at the peak of the Covid-19 third wave. How else do you describe our leaders if not as Public Health Hired Asassins?

On Thursday, the Social Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) presented a 61-page report stating that over 27 million Nigerians earn less than N100,000 per annum (i.e $0.5 per day). When they pointed at budget fraud, procurement fraud, embezzlement of funds among other illegal actions, as being responsible, I nodded and said 'Economic Hired Assassins.'

It is obvious that we are a society of hired assassins with our actions and inactions resulting in the death of people all around us. One big mistake the government is making is focusing on the fight against the 'religious Boko Haram' in the North-West  while ignoring the silent hired assassins and circular Boko Haram all around the country. Mathew 18:7 says 'For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!' My question to you is 'Are you a HIRED ASSASSIN?'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 28 August 2021

EVERY DOG HAS ITS DAY

I was thinking this morning.... As I stepped out of my compound last Thursday, I immediately met my neighbour with her dog out for convenience break. I got close to them and said 'good morning ma.' Suddenly, the dog barked and charged at me. I froze even as my neighbour shut him up. I smiled and facing the dog, I asked, 'don't you want me to greet your madam?' As I walked away, I wondered why this bingo was so protective of its madam. Later that day, I found out that Thursday 26th August was International Dog Day, set aside to appreciate the love and value that dogs bring to our daily lives.


Why would anyone even think of showering his or her love on a dog rather than a human? In understanding why, I discovered that a dog is so reliable in keeping humans safe working for the emergency services and supporting people who are blind, deaf, or disabled, yet we have humans working as security guards who will connive with robbers to rob their host and nurses and caregivers who will abuse and maltreat their patients.

There are dogs that protect our safety and freedom by detecting drugs and bombs, as well as those that pull victims from wreckages and tragic situations, yet there are people entrusted to fight evil that became the evil, by conniving with terrorists to bomb and harm innocent citizens. Oh what sort of humans are these?

There are many stories of people that have been backstabbed by someone they trusted. Someone they loved and gave their all. Humans have proven time and again that they can't be trusted. Many have been seriously hurt by their spouse, some by someone they call 'my bestie' or brother. Others still by someone they invited into their homes.

Having been badly burnt, many have withdrawn from society and decided to trust no man ever, while some have turned to having a pet they can love. It is a sad commentary that dogs are more loving and trust worthy that some humans.

I know there are many that can be trusted, the question is, are you a reliable friend or brother? Is the friendship of a dog more valuable than yours? Think about it. Proverbs 20:6 says 'Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey 

Saturday, 21 August 2021

THE RACE FOR CORONATION

 


I was thinking this morning... As Itsekiri sons and daughters resident in Lagos gathered at the Skyline Hall of Oriental Hotel Lekki, yesterday the 21st day of August, in the 21st year of the 21st century to be part of the coronation of the 21st Olu of Warri, I made sure not to pass on this glorious opportunity to witness a major milestone in Itsekiri history and a time where all Itsekiris from far and near look forward to a celebration of our rich cultural heritage.

I settled for the gathering in Lagos because it was the next best thing to being live at the venue at Ode-Itsekiri, in Warri. Moreover, with the Delta variant still very much on rampage, I am a lot more comfortable in a controlled environment than a huge crowd that could potentially be a super-spreader.

As the coronation is being live streamed from Itsekiri-olu (the Itsekiri term for Big Warri or Ode-Itsekiri), we were treated, at Lekki, to scrumptious traditional food in a nostalgic setting with Itsekiri dance steps and an exhibition of the rich cultural heritage of the Itsekiri nation. As the revered crown was raised, I pictured how it has moved from Ginuwa to Irame, Erejuwa to Ikenwoli, and now being placed on the head of Omoba Utienyinoritsetsola Emiko.

Suddenly, I was transfixed and the Hall transmogrified into a celestial realm where I saw in a flash that life is a race for coronation. By definition, a coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown upon a monarch's head. 

Right from when you are born, you begin a race to your coronation either in this life or in the after-life. Some enjoy the double honour of being coronated both in this life (business and career) and in the hereafter, while only very few enjoy the triple honour of being coronated in their career, community and afterlife.

What determines whether you get the crown on earth is grace and diligence, but to get the crown of life you need endurance and love of God. Many chase, fight and kill over the earthly crown at the detriment of the heavenly. What an error.

James 1:12 says 'Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord had promised to them that love him.' Tsola Emiko has received his earthly crown and shown that he is working towards the heavenly, what about you? The race for coronation is on. Run wisely!

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey 

Saturday, 14 August 2021

E GO REACH MY TURN

 


I was thinking this morning... I was leisurely browsing social media on Friday evening when I stumbled on the tweet by DJ Cuppy. She had tweeted 'DuDu decided that 6 people from twitter will win N60,000 each to celebrate his birthday.' For those not familiar with DJ Cuppy, she is the musician and millionaire daughter of billionaire businessman Femi Otedola. Months ago, she acquired two pomeranian dogs as pets and named them DuDu and FunFun Otedola.

While I was still wondering how someone will give out N360k in celebration of the birthday of a dog, one fan of Cuppy wrote 'So, dogs don start to dey do give away and I never even see 50 naira dash pesin.' Some will call it excess cash but Warri man will say too much pepper.

At another level, the average oyinbo man when blessed will give to charity. But when the money is too much for a lifetime, then they look out of this world to spend it. Space travel made international headlines in July as both Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Virgin boss Richard Branson flew to space in crafts made by their own companies. Not to be outdone, Elon Musk's SpaceX plans to launch an all-civilian crew into orbit in September. Chai!! Space is now the playground for the super rich.

When I learnt that Branson's Virgin Galactic plans to begin regular commercial services to space in 2022, and already has 600 reservations at around $250,000 a ticket, I threw my hands in the air and prayed 'Oh Lord, bless me to overflow.'

Fact is, we all have money, the difference is in the volume. I am confident the Lord will bless me to overflow in this life, and have a fair idea of what I will do with the billions. The question is, when you pray to 'hammer', have you considered what you will do with the excess money? Close your street in celebration of the birthday of your dog, fly to space for $250,000 or just 'cubana' it for a burial ceremony? Whatever you choose to do is your prerogative.

I believe Genesis 12:2 that says 'And I will bless thee and thou shalt be a blessing.' Therefore, without doubt, I know my turn go soon reach. But when you are blessed to overflow, do not disappoint the God that gave you the power to get wealth.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 7 August 2021

LIFE IS NOT PS4

 


I was thinking this morning.... Last Tuesday, in my usual effervescent manner, I had responded to an email aimed at driving improvement in one of our processes. What I didn't realise was that I had slighted a colleague and friend by the mail. He responded very robustly without betraying his emotions. When I called him to discuss, I understood his anger and he saw that my response was in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands. We laughed and thanked each other for not allowing the email exchange to become an ego trip.

As we conversed, we wondered how people struggle and fight about earthly things and in the process hurt themselves. Have you considered why there is an epidemic of high blood pressure? Have you wondered why there are so many incidents of sudden death? What we call 'uku gbain gbain' in Itsekiri.

Within the last two weeks, I heard very shocking cases of sudden death that got me thinking and made me calm down. Two weeks ago, a pastor in Port-Harcourt while preaching in back-to-back services collapsed during the third service and died shortly after. Last week someone I know quite well was sitting with his family in church while the service was going on and passed on, while everyone thought he was sleeping. Days ago, another person I know slept and passed on without any major medical issue.

What exactly is going on? In my musing, I realised that for many around the world, living has become very difficult considering the stressors people face daily. Tough economy, Covid impact and other general problems are sources of stress and affecting their mental health.

Nigerians face even bigger challenges with failed governance and 'village people' adding to the wahala. For Port-Harcourt residents, it is double jeopardy because even breathing has become a huge problem. The danger of Coronavirus in the air is child's play compared to the black soot from 'kpofire.'

The challenges life throw at you today is enough to stress you out, so don't add to it by your actions or inactions. Wish no man evil. Be at peace with all men (Rom 12:18). Like an old song from my childhood says;

Jeje o, my friend o. No rush life o, you hear
Jeje o, my friend o. Take am coolee o.

Please take it easy. Don't stress over little things. Scale back on the adrenaline rush. Know your body and when to rest. Live life, rest and don't die. Life is not PlayStation (PS4) where you can replay.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 31 July 2021

WASTED OPPORTUNITIES FOR OLYMPICS GOLD

 


I was thinking this morning.... As fireworks lit up the sky over the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, on July 23, 2021, I imagined that this must be the weirdest Olympics in history for two reasons. First, we are having the 2020 Olympics in 2021. Secondly, rather than being called the Tokyo olympics, many refer to it as the Covid Olympics, because it will largely be without fans due to Covid restrictions.

As the ceremony went underway, I was confident of a medal haul for Nigeria at the end of the games. My hope wasn't hinged on the recent performances of our male basketball team 'D'Tigers' neither was it on Long jumper Ese Brume nor wrestler Odunayo Adekuoroye who have been in excellent form going into the Olympics, but rather it was on the little mentioned recently acquired talents of Nigerians.

First, many Nigerians have recently taken to shooting as a passion, killing thousands of Nigerians in the process. With hours spent shooting, I was confident we will win the gold medal at the Olympics shooting event. 'Usai! Where were the bandits, kidnappers, BH militants and separatists when China's Yang Qian won the first gold of 10m air rifle final? Alas, Nigeria didn't even enter for that event. What a waste.

As I watched the swimming event kick off, I looked out for Nigerians from Niger Delta and saw none. With most of our riverine communities being submerged by waters from overflowing rivers, I expected that we should have mastered the art of living under water or as a minimum be amphibians, but no, we were not in swimming. Where was Nigeria when the 18yr old Tunisian Ahmed Hafnaoui won the Men's 400m freestyle? Nowhere. I reasoned that I may be watching the wrong event, Nigerians must be competing in rowing, canoeing or kayaking because that has been the major means of escaping the flooding in Lagos mainland and Lekki in recent years. Again, I was disappointed. Yet another glorious opportunity to win gold at the Covid Olympics lost.

As I switched the channel to weightlifting, I looked out for Nigerians but there were none because, as I later understood, our athletes failed to meet the qualifying standard. Wow! How is that possible? As a minimum, we should have fought for the creation of the 25kg, 50kg, 75kg and 100kg weightlifting category for male and female politicians. That would've been 8 cheap gold medals for Nigeria because our politicians have long toned their muscles carrying ghana-must-go filled with stolen money. Oh, what an opportunity missed.

As the Olympics round up in a week, so far our contigents are, like Peter in Acts 3:6, saying 'Silver and gold, I have none.' I understand because they gave their best for Nigeria and for that I say kudos. But for the human, economic and political bandits and kidnappers in Nigeria, don't waste that talent on evil, use it for good. Let your talent win us gold otherwise kill the evil.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Sunday, 25 July 2021

THAT 'E WO LO KAN MI' ATTITUDE

 


I was thinking this morning..... As I did my daily morning walk during the week, I noticed a water pipeline leakage within the estate that has caused flooding on the major road. 'Is this not the same leakage I reported weeks ago?' I imagined. Yes it is. Why has no one, particularly those living next to the leakage, taken the initiative to attend to this minor challenge that will cost so little to fix? Again, I called the Exco chairman's attention and he promised to do something. As I walked away, I wondered where Nigerians got this 'E wo lo kan mi' (meaning 'not my concern' in yoruba) attitude from. 


As my legs moved forward, my mind did the reverse, reminding me of how my cousin took his sick daughter to a Community Health Centre in Warri, and noticed that everyone was in darkness because the only power generator has been down for over two weeks. Why? They were waiting for government. He called a generator technician to fix the problem and was shocked when told that the bill was N1,500. Yes, you heard me right. N1,500. The whole community suffered for over two weeks, because everyone was waiting for the government to provide N1,500. What a shame. Ahh!!! That 'E wo lo kan mi' attitude. 


Look around you and you will see the 'E wo lo kan mi' attitude. When the Punch Newspaper reported that the major Nigeria Police tracking device acquired in 2015 to go after kidnappers, bandits and terrorists is down and out since the beginning of 2021 because they have not paid the yearly subscription, I need not ask why and how because I know it is because of the 'E wo lo kan mi' attitude. When a small pothole formed on the Lekki-Epe expressway some weeks back and no one paid attention until it grew and started causing a three hours traffic, we all suffered and cursed the government but no one thought to do something. You know why? The 'E wo lo kan mi' attitude. 


The 34th US President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953 to 1961) had said 'A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.' It seems like we've all lost our principles and waiting to enjoy privileges we don't deserve. Everyone is waiting on somebody to do what anyone could do. At the end nobody is doing anything. We must remove and burn that cloak of 'E wo lo kan mi' which we wear like a winter coat and begin to take more interest in fixing what directly affects us rather than wait for government or someone else. James 4:17 'Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do, yet fails to do it, is guilty of sin.' It's true, whether you say 'E wo lo kan mi' or not. 


Stay hopeful. God's got your back. 


Happy Sunday. 


......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 17 July 2021

THE POLICE IS YOUR FRIEND

 


I was thinking this morning..... Anyone and everyone that has anything to do with social media in Nigeria would agree that the trending news this weekend was the burial ceremony of the mother of Obinna Iyiegbu, popularly known as Obi Cubana at Oba, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State. The event which was attended by businessmen, politicians, musicians and actors, was an occasion for the lavish and obscene display of wealth. One person no one expected to be at such an occasion where state laws were freely broken, was a well known Deputy Commissioner of Police and main man of the IG of Police.

On Saturday the officer had to give reasons why he attended the burial. In a Facebook post, he had said "Obinna Iyiegbu popularly known as Obi Cubana is one of the most hardworking entrepreneurs and humble personalities that I have known for many years. He is a brother and a good friend." I smiled when I read that statement and remembered Inspector Osadolor in the popular DSTV soap, ENAKHE. Inspector Osadolor is a corrupt police officer on the payroll of the drug barons and will not miss an opportunity to remind his benefactors that the police is your friend.

Of course the police will be your friend when bundles and wads of cash were hauled and 'sprayed' at people with reckless abandon. It is easy for the police to be your friend when over 246 cows were slaughtered for your mother's burial and you are gifting someone a cognac worth N4.7 million.

The Police is your friend. I wish. In 1998 the police stopped me while driving along Okumagba Avenue in Warri and observed that my registration paper had expired days earlier. In spite of my plea for mercy, the officer looked me in the face and insisted on seizing the N5,000 I had packaged to pay my tithe. How I wish he had smiled at me and said 'the Police is your friend' and let me go.

When the police embark on arbitrary arrests, extort money at checkpoints, turn a case against a complainant or even carry out extra-judicial killings, oh I wish, they can truly say 'the police is your friend.' A friend is one that loves at all times (Prov 17:17) but it seems the police are friends to the rich alone. There is God o!

The question is, are you a true friend or are you like Inspector Osadolor that is killing you and yet says 'the police is your friend.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 10 July 2021

LIFE IS IN PHASES

 


I was thinking this morning..... last Tuesday I was privileged to sit with other parents at the graduation ceremony as my last child bows out from Senior Secondary school. Where I sat at the back of the expansive hall, I pondered in idle musings on how far I have come from being that proud father in 2006, taking his first child to school for the first time to being a father whose children have all left secondary school. Though it was my son that was graduating last Tuesday, I felt more like the real graduand because for 8 straight years I have been doing college runs and that was ending on that day. As I mused I recalled the popular saying 'Life is in phases, men are in sizes.'

Children education is like pregnancy that has 3 trimesters. Once conceived, there is no looking back until delivery. I reflected on my first trimester of School fees and recalled how I trembled back then at the thought of paying school fees for 3 kids in private primary schools. Somehow, God enabled me to meet the needs confirming the saying 'Life is in phases, men are in sizes.' In the mid to late 2000, my size was just right for primary school bills.

The second trimester, secondary school, ended last Tuesday and I am still in awe of how God had helped me through this phase. My size, again was just right for the phase. As I celebrated my freedom from seconday school runs and fees, my heart skipped a beat when the Guest Speaker, the Hon Commissioner for Education, Lagos State reminded parents of the graduating students that our school fees burden was about to take a big leap as they proceed to University, the third trimester. Really? How will I cope? I imagined. As my heartbeat raced, I heard a reassuring voice that says 'relax, it shall be well. Why? Because life is in phases, men are in sizes.' The God that saw them through primary and secondary school will see them through University.

Though the thought of the future may sometimes seem overwhelming, be confident that in every phase of life, God's grace is available to see you through. Don’t ever be overwhelmed by the phase you have not gotten into or underwhelmed by the state you are presently in, because 2nd Corinthians 12:9 says 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Life is in phases, men are in sizes. Therefore maximise the phase you are in and enjoy your size of today.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 3 July 2021

CATS IN MY THOUGHTS

 


I was thinking this morning..... As the day dawned on Thursday, messages of 'Happy New Month' had filled my phone. I was still replying to these messages when news broke of how the Ibadan residence of Yoruba right activist Sunday Adeyemo, better known as Sunday Igboho, was attacked allegedly by gunmen in military uniform around 1am on Thursday. One of his aides had said 'They shot at the cars and riddled the glasses with bullets. They even killed some small cats and arrested a bigger cat, believing Igboho might have turned to the cat.' Wow! What's happening in Nigeria? Even animals are no longer safe and are being arrested.

I couldn't shake off the 'arrested cat' story as the new month, new quarter and second half of 2021 kicked off. It seemed like it was raining cats and dogs in my head, but the cats were all over my thoughts like oil paint on canvas. It was a long and busy first day of the month. The back to back meetings stretched from 8am till 5pm that one could say I was busier than a one-eyed cat watching two mouse holes. As I sat back thereafter, I dozed off on the couch and was awaken by the sound of the TV. When I checked how long I had knocked off, my mind told me I just had a 'cat nap.'

As I laid in bed that evening, I remembered the words of Benjamin Franklin who had said 'all cats are grey at night' meaning in the dark, physical attributes are unimportant. Warri man say in times of war, dem no dey know fine girl o.

With half of 2021 gone, many may have achieved a lot and probably feeling as conceited as a barbers cat. While others may think nothing good had happened to them since we shouted happy new year. They want to speak out or even curse those responsible for their predicament, but it seems the cat has got their tongue. All I can tell them is to thank God.

As I began to finally drift into dreamland, I was resolute in my belief that being alive to see the second half of the year is enough to give thanks. You have not been arrested like Nnamdi Kanu or attacked in your home like Sunday Igboho. No one has killed or arrested your cat, so chill and believe that 2021 is going to end well. However, if you must achieve your dreams, do something positive today because like they say 'a cat in gloves catches no mice.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 26 June 2021

21ST CENTURY WIDOWS

 

I was thinking this morning.... while still enjoying all the messages from Fathers Day last Sunday, I was feeling like a superman. I thought this feeling would last for another year but as I made to walk downstairs last Thursday, I glanced at the TV and saw the headline 'International Widows Day 2021.' Really? Why would International Widows Day be fixed on the heels of Fathers Day? Are they passing a subtle message to men? But wait? Do we even have a day for widowers?


By definition, a widow is a woman whose spouse has died, but I learnt long ago that it is not physical death that makes a widow. The way a man treats his wife determines if she will see herself as a widow or not. A couple was attending a religious event when the pastor called for widows to come out for prayers. The woman stood up and was about to walk out when the husband held her back and asked 'I am here and you are going out as a widow?' She looked at him and said 'How am I better than a woman whose husband is dead?' Ahhh!

In this century, there are varied forms of Widows. The wife of a man that spends his days and night outside with friends or at work and has no time for his family is nothing but a 'Matrimonial widow.' A man that cannot provide for his wife and children and makes no effort to do so has turned his wife to a 'Economic widow.' What about those men that spend time at home but will never be seen in the company of their wives at social events, not even in church? They have made their wives 'Social Widows.' I heard of a man that has only been intimate with his wife 5 times in 8 years. Wow! When a man deprives his wife of intimacy and prefers to sleep with all sort of 'soyoyo' or 'Chidinma of the Super TV CEO fame,' he has made the wife an 'Intimacy widow.'

As the world celebrated International Widows Day, a United Nations ratified day of action to address the poverty and injustice faced by widows, on June 23rd, I appeal to all men that have been treating their wives unfairly and as such made them semi-widows, to have a rethink. Every woman deserves to enjoy the love, warmth and blessings that come with marriage for as long as the husband is alive. Anything else or less, will make her feel like a widow and God, we know is the defender of widows (Psalm 68:5).

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.,

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 19 June 2021

FATHERS ARE MOTHERS

 


I was thinking this morning.... I remember an incident early on in my married life living at Ogiyede area of Warri. One night, a neighbour woke us up at about midnight to help take the wife, who was in labour, to the hospital. I rushed out, brought out my car to pick them up. As the husband supported the wife into the car, she groaned and sometimes cursed. As they sat at the rear seat of the car and I started driving, the husband consoled the wife amidst her groaning, 'Sorry dear. Take it easy.' The woman's response shocked me. She spurted out 'Shut up! No be you do am?' Wow! What has the poor man done wrong? I imagined. Why are fathers seen as the problem? Why don't fathers get the same sympathy like mothers?

As I started having children, I began experiencing what fathers go through. First, I wondered why people believe only mothers carry the burden of pregnancy. Research have shown that fathers around the globe experience couvade syndrome, which is also called “sympathy pregnancy.” The symptoms of this condition are similar to an expectant mother’s symptoms and include altered hormone levels, weight gain, vomiting, and nausea. Yet, that pregnant lady told the husband 'Shut up! No be you do am?' Chai! Didn't she know that the husband was in pain as well? if a mother is person who gave birth to a child, then fathers are mothers. Hail them for me.

Some say men don't get pregnant, so will not understand the burden of child bearing. Really? The greatest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the wife of Feodor Vassilyev of Russia between 1707 and 1782. That is nothing compared to Ismail Ibn Sharif, an Alaouite sultan who fathered 888 children with hundreds of wives and concubines in the late 17th century. Do you know what it takes to make one pregnancy, not to talk of 888 and support the birth of the children? Abeg, make una hail fathers for me.

In spite of all fathers go through, only 66 countries guarantee a father’s right to paid paternity leave, and only 31 offer 14 weeks or more. Nigeria and the United States are not part of them. Why? Don't they know that fathers are mothers? Don't they realise that children in homes without fathers are almost four times more likely to be poor? Yet, so many fathers are home supporting their wives and children, and still being treated like they are ordinary men. No. Fathers are mothers as well. Hail them.

As we celebrate another Fathers Day today, all I am asking is for the world to appreciate fathers who have been giving, giving and giving. Proverbs 23:22: "Listen to your father, who gave you life. You may call them Dad, Father, Papa, Piile, Popsy, Ba'ami, Nna or even Papilolo. Whatever it is, please just bless a father today.

Happy Fathers Day.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 12 June 2021

17 MUSCLES


I was thinking this morning.... during my final year at the University, we worked so hard at our final exams and had very little sleep. By our beds, you will find sticky notes saying 'Wake me up at 2am', 'Wake me up at midnight' etc. just to ensure we were up on time to read. But immediately after our last paper, I returned to the room to find a sticker by the bed where one of my roommate was sleeping, saying 'Please don't wake me up, as my slap may offend you.' Hmm! This story came to mind after I watched the video where French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face Tuesday by one Damien Tarel while greeting the public waiting for him behind barriers in the small town of Tain-l'Hermitage, southeastern France. As I watched the slap again and again, I tried to rationalise the motivation.

Damien Tarel had told the Court the reason for his action was because the president embodied France's decay. But why resort to violence? Why didn't he respond in a more civilised manner? My take is that he probably has heard scientists say that it takes 43 muscles to frown, 17 muscles to smile and 4 muscles to reach out and slap an offender. He was definitely not ready to use 43 muscles but 4.

A keen follower of the trajectory of Nigeria would've observed a reduction in our muscle application. First, as things degenerated and cost of living soared, people frowned utilising 43 muscles. As the problems persisted, wrinkles were developing and some having facial muscle pull due to persistent frowning. It's time to change strategy. Smiling engages fewer muscles, just 17, they reasoned. Then entered the era of 'suffering and smiling' with one poll describing Nigerians as the most optimistic in the world in 2011. 'Bohboh!' We were not happy but simply exercising fewer muscles by smiling with 17 muscles instead of frowning with 43 muscles.

Ten years down the line, Nigerians are tired of using 17 muscles and have sadly chosen to use 4 muscles like Damien Tarel of France. Little wonder for the escalating violence across the country. This is the wrong application of muscles. It is better to exercise 17 muscles smiling than 4 muscles in violence. As we celebrate another June 12 (Democracy Day), we must ensure that the labours of our heroes past are not in vain by working together to put genuine smiles on the faces of Nigerians. But, should you be faced with the myriads of problems in Nigeria, please choose to exercise 17 muscles by smiling at the future (Proverbs 31:25).

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday and Democracy Day.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey 

Saturday, 5 June 2021

CERTIFICATE OF SURVIVAL

 


I was thinking this morning..... about my graduation ceremony at the University of Benin (Uniben) in 1991 having spent four tough years at the Ugbowo campus. During this period, there were multiple students demonstrations and times of economic hardship that threw many out of school. We were threatened by cultists, harassed by corrupt lecturers and extorted by sadistic non-academic staff. We also had to endure the lack of basic academic materials to study hard enough to make the right grades to graduate. But las las, we graduated. Sitting at the Banquet Hall on graduation day, I was therefore excited to hear those words 'Having satisfied all the requirements of the University, you have been found worthy to be awarded this degree.' Phew! What a period.


After graduation, I never thought we would, again go through anything like the 4 years one spends at the University. But Nigeria politicians seem to have locked us into a similar 4-year loop, where you struggle to survive and at the end you get a certificate.

Enter the 4 years of GEJ, during which period many Nigerians were worried about the level of corruption. Corruption was so pervasive that many believed that anyone that comes out unscathed after his tenure will be deserving of a certificate of incorruption. Thank God we graduated and got our certificate.

The baton was handed to PMB. With the 4 + 4 years of PMB gradually counting down, Nigerians are buffeted by economic hardship ($1=N502) on one hand and pummelled by insecurity on another hand. Many that survived Covid-19, were killed by hunger and those that survived are threatened by bandits, kidnappers and separatists. One Azeez Ishola summarised it nicely by saying 'At the end of Buhari’s second 4 years in office, every Nigerian alive deserves and should get a certificate of survival.' Even Twitter couldn't survive in Nigeria.

Certificate of graduation, certificate of incorruption and certificate of survival. As it stands, we will keep getting a new certificate every 4 years for as long as we have these set of politicians running the affairs of our nation. But the most important certificate to look forward to is the 'Overcomer certificate.' Life itself is a never ending set of hoops, so forget the challenges, we will overcome them all. John 16:33 'In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.


......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 29 May 2021

HEARTLESS

 


I was thinking this morning.... about how heartless we have become as a people. Like many Nigerians, I watched the short clip of Nigeria Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi giving a speech during the funeral of the late Chief of Army Staff and 10 other military officers, and didn't know what to think. The Minister while reading from a script, said 'the President wish to express his great displeasure ..... and heartless felt condolences to all the bereaved families.' While many saw the statement as a shocking grammatical blunder, I disagreed and said 'oga, no mind them. I believe you.'


I believed him because on Monday, the news headline was 'Over 100 killed in Benue as militia gangs sack four Council Wards in Katsina-Ala LGA' but no word from the government. Then on Tuesday yet another tragedy with the headlines 'Suspected herdsmen attack Jos, kill 19 persons.' Again no comment. But when on Wednesday, there was an unfortunate boat mishap between Niger and Kebbi states, the government spokesman surfaced saying 'The president offered his heartfelt condolences to the families of those affected by this tragedy.' Like seriously? Surely, it must be a heartless felt condolence.

My worry is not so much as the failure of the government, but how Nigerians are becoming heartless. Last Sunday a Nigerian soldier had flagged down a car at Eleme Junction in Port Harcourt and begged him for a lift to Ikot Abasi. On their way he shot the driver dead and stole his car. Abasi mbok! Days later, a young man at Oleh, Delta state was arrested for killing his twin brother for ritual purposes. What's going on? What have we become?

Now that both men have been arrested, I am sure they will beg for forgiveness and say to the relatives of the deceased 'Please accept my condolence, yes my heartless felt condolence.'

We must have genuine sympathy, brotherly love and a tender heart (1st Peter 3:8). It is only then we can express our heartfelt condolences rather than a heartless felt condolence.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 22 May 2021

FREE YOUR MIND

 


I was thinking this morning.... while listening to the radio on my way to work last Wednesday, there was a sports report quoting the coach of the Nigeria Basktetball team saying 'You don't prove yourself on paper, you have the court to do that.' For a split second, I got confused if the statement was about sport or the law.

If the court is the place where law cases are heard and decided, what will the basketballers be doing there? Then like a double swinging door, similar to that you find in 'ogoro or tombo bar' in Warri, my mind swung in the opposite direction and I realised that the court is also where they play the game of tennis and basketball.

As I stepped out of the car, carrying my briefcase, I thought, the dictionary says a 'Brief' is the instructions to a barrister while a 'Case' is statement of the facts in a trial, esp. the argument of one side. Why then is a 'Briefcase' not a legal instruction that is a statement of facts? At this point, I advise myself saying 'Wemo, free your mind.'

Because you are a lawyer does not mean when you hear the words 'court', 'brief' and 'case', you think only of law. Free your mind. Those words including 'sentence', 'bar' and 'bench' means different things at different times. Likewise, that you were trained or grew up having one perspective does not mean there are no other perspectives. Free your mind. If only we can allow our mind to swing on a hinge, then we will see things from another perspective and accommodate other opinions and positions.

It is on this basis that I say to the AG of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, 'free your mind and you will realise that open grazing is not the same as spare parts business.' Luke 24:45 says 'Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.' May God open our minds to know the truth in all situations.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 15 May 2021

ANYTHING FOR THE KIDS

 


I was thinking this morning..... about our kids and what the future holds for them in Nigeria. Watching the 1988 American romantic comedy film 'Coming to America' starring Eddie Murphy, back in those days, one scene like many others stuck in my subconscious till date. It was a discussion between Lisa McDowell and Darryl Jenks, the guy with the greasy hair who was competing with Akeem to win the love of Lisa. Lisa had said to Darryl 'The other day at the rally, somebody stuffed a large amount of cash into one of the collection boxes. You wouldn't happen to know who that was, would you?' Darryl hesitated and muttered 'Well I..' Before he could finish, Lisa cut in excitedly and said 'I thought it was you.' Darryl quickly stole the glory and responded smiling 'You know me, anything for the kids.' Cut!

Back to present day. I was at home last Tuesday morning when my door bell rang. When my wife opened the door, it was a young girl of about 11 years. She told us she had ran away from home somewhere in our Estate because she was being maltreated by her madam, who brought her to Lagos a couple of weeks ago and pleaded with us to take her back to her father in Benin city. Though I later found out that sections of her story were lies, I felt really sorry for her and wondered how as a people we have allowed children to be so abused and dehumanised. I was still on this when I read the news of Yoruba actor, Olanrewaju James, popularly known as Baba Ijesha, facing a five-count charge of alleged rape and sexual assault on a minor. Na wa o! What can we do to protect children from molestation? There must be something. Abeg, anything for the kids.

Iniubong (Hiny) Umoren, the young job seeker, brutally murdered in her prime in Uyo was someone's child, yet the society watched as savage serial killer, Uduak Akpan lived amongst us like a normal human being. There are strong suspicions that he may be an agent for ritualists or part of a crime ring that specialises in human organ trade. Whichever it was, how did we get here? Who will protect the children of Nigeria? You may be asking, 'what can I do?' Really, I don't know, all I can say is, anything for the kids.

As we prepare to celebrate yet another World Children's Day on May 27 (11 days from today) with the theme 'Investing in our future means investing in our children,' we need to deeply reflect on how we can invest in our children. Is it by sending them to expensive schools or by spending quality family time with them? Maybe, it means to invest in them morally and spiritually. In Warri, we will say 'all join.' But as for me with apologies to Darryl, I will say 'you know me, anything for the kids.' My prayer is that God will contend with those who contend with us and save our children (Isaiah 49:25b). I am pleading, invest in the future of your kids. Yes, anything for the kids.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 8 May 2021

OUR DANCING IGNORANCE

 


I was thinking this morning... I recently recalled one experience from my childhood days in Warri. During the long holidays when there was no vacation to go to and no toys to play with, the boys in adjoining 'yards' come together to seek out ways to have fun and raise funds. One way we did this then was to dance 'Ulaga.' Ulaga is a masquerade of sort where a kid is covered waist down with raffia and others play drum made from cut-out Bounvita tin and rubber. They dance for adults who in turn appreciate them with money which was then used to buy football. Different Ulaga groups move from one street to another impressing potential customers. The highlight of any Ulaga outing is when they cross path with another Ulaga. Rather than say hi and move along, it usually results in a dance challenge. That challenge is kicked off with the song 'Ulaga kilede mo, o de mo. Eyibo eh, e de mo. Ulaga want to challenge. E de mo.' Then the drum kicks in 'kpem gbu, kpem gbu, kpemgbem gbu, kpem gbu...' Both Ulagas dance facing each other while their supporters drum and cheer. The best dancer carries the day and holds the bragging right till they meet gain.

As I smiled, I imagined how naive and foolish we sometimes were. What is the origin of Ulaga? The song we sang, what language was it? What did it mean? I had absolutely no idea, but just joined other boys to play. Thank God we did not die in our ignorance. Many times we've done things in the past, that years later we look back and wonder like Steve Urkel in the American comedy, 'Family Matters' of the 1990s, saying 'Did I do that?'.

Ignorance, they say is bliss, but it can also be destructive if we revel in it. When I consider the insecurity in Nigeria and how many are feeding and supporting the violence, I conclude that it is nothing but motivated ignorance or ignorance on steroids. We must challenge ourselves to come out of ignorance to save our lives and country. Acts 17:30 'Truly, the times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.' Ignorance or pretending to be ignorant is killing our nation. We must repent.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 1 May 2021

LIFE IS ECONOMICS

 


I was thinking this morning.... about life again. It's no longer news that India that was producing Covid vaccine for the world and making huge profits has become the epicentre of Covid-19 with thousands dying daily. That's a big loss. Back home, Nigeria that we all thought was making progress against Boko Haram early in the life of this administration has become the playground of terrorists placing the nation next only to Afghanistan and Yemen. The killings in the north, south, east and west is simply mind numbing. It seems there is a battle between evil and good for the soul of Nigeria. As I considered it deeply I remembered a saying I heard recently that 'Life is economics - A natural system of profit and loss.'


I still had this thought in my head when I returned home last Monday to read about the sudden death of the vice chairman of our Estate Association. It was a shocking and painful loss because he was part of the association's meeting two days earlier and even gave the closing remarks. He was a man of peace and a bridge builder. We appreciated his volunteering to serve as great gain for the estate and were still celebrating him when he died. What a loss! As I reflected on this, I shook my head and agreed with the saying that 'Life is economics - A natural system of profit and loss.'

'Is life really economics?' In my sojourn on earth to date, I have enjoyed seasons of profits but have also had a fair share of losses. I did School certificate exams and my results were seized for a season while others were released. I wanted to study Medicine, but fell short and ended up with Microbiology. On graduation, I applied to and did multiple interviews with multinational organisations but no luck. I ended up as a contract staff for 10 years. Many other losses came but the profits defined my life. Truly, 'Life is economics - A natural system of profit and loss.'

Yes, we lose some and gain some. The losses humble us and teach us a lesson or two about life. Losses may also be God's way of keeping us on the right path. However, our prayer is that we do not experience an irreversible loss or a loss that swallows up the gains and defines the rest of our life. Yes, life is natural system of profit and loss, but sometimes you have to lose one thing to gain something better. Even death sometimes could be gainful. Philippians 1:21 says 'For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.' Let the profits define your life and not the losses.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday. Adieu Pastor Bolaji. 

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 24 April 2021

WHAT MANNER OF CELEBRATION?

 


I was thinking this morning..... about celebration. Yesterday, I was at the 50th birthday celebration of a friend and wife of a colleague. We all gathered to welcome her to the 5th Floor with pump and pageantry. Where I sat admiring the aso-ebi ladies and gentlemen, I remembered my early years in Warri when we celebrated birthdays, sorry, 'bydays.' The celebration was on a different level. While I was too young to remember my first birthday groove, I can remember a thing or two of my 10th in 1980 with the aid of that black and white 'pishure.' There was no cake, just a big bowl of rice with bottled Coca-Cola and Fanta standing guard on both sides. We gather behind the table and a click of the pinhole camera signals the beginning of wackies. Chai! Dat na celebration.

Three days earlier, I saw myself attending the 5th Year Remembrance Thanksgiving Service of my late uncle. Yes, it was a sombre mood through the service, but immediately after, we gathered to wine and dine. The beautifully decorated venue and dressed guests was not because we are happy he died but because he lived a good life that blessed so many. As I dug into the local delta delicacy, owo and starch and washed it down with sparkling grape juice, I nodded my head and said, this too is celebration.

On my way to the birthday celebration, there were others going for a different celebration, this time the joining in holy matrimony. Having waited so long for a life partner, when 'he that eventually findeth' goes all out to splash cash as much as they do colours, dancing azonto across the hall, please do not beef him. That too na celebration.

There are other celebrations like graduation, ordination, house warming etc., but one celebration that is strange and Nicodemously being introduced to society is 'Divorce Celebration.' Imagine my shock when I saw the invite put out by the Ghanaian couple identified as Nana Sekyere and Evelyne Korateng inviting people to celebrate with them following their divorce. When I thought that was foreign, last weekend photos emerged of a Nigerian lady, Dr Ikea Bello who threw a mini party to celebrate her divorce with a customized cake after parting ways with her husband. In the pictures, the latest divorcee in town is seen rocking a red dress. She also got herself a customized cake with the inscriptions, “I do, I did, I’m done. Divorced at last.”

While some will shout abomination, a deep thinker reflecting on how abuse and violence are rocking many marriages with some not getting out alive, they will grace such occasions, lift up their glasses to a toast and say 'this too na celebration.' Irrespective of what you are celebrating, enjoy, but keep in mind the words of Revelation 19:9 that says 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' For that shall be the mother of all celebration.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 17 April 2021

WAHALA ON PARADE

 


I was thinking this morning.... about Nigeria and our home grown problems which we refer to as wahala. Like every nation of the world, Nigeria faces challenges that are unique to us, similar to our uniquely Nigerian slangs. One of such slangs that has gained ascendancy in the last few months is the 'wahala be like...' slang


The last two weeks has been a mentally difficult period for Nigerians. Why So? The Yorubas will say 'wahala o ti poju.' After a relatively peaceful Easter celebrations, we woke up on Monday 5th April with the news of gunmen attacking a prison facility and police command centre in the city of Owerri, Imo state, destroying part of the prison walls with explosives and freeing 1,844 inmates. How quickly things turn from good to bad. As I wondered, I recalled the first of the 'wahala be like..' slang that says 'wahala be like noodles, two minutes e don ready.'

I was still praying for peace in Nigeria, when on Tuesday 6th April, Nigerian activist, Aisha Yesufu was reported to have said that she is okay and ready to seek visas to visit Kano, Lagos, and Enugu States. This was in response to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s comment that should Nigeria break up, one would need a visa to come to Kano. Yes, most of us are fed up with the state of affairs in Nigeria, but not enough to fuel the break up agenda because 'wahala be like Uganda, e de easy to enter but difficult to comot.'

With wahala everywhere, the IGP has his plate full. On the 7th of April, he was in Imo state trying to find a solution to the frequent attacks on police stations, when he was sacked. I can imagine his shock thinking 'but my 3 months tenure extension is not over.' Yea right, but such is life because 'wahala be like bicycle, e no hard to start but difficult to stop.'

With high unemployment rates, inflation and ongoing insecurity, the wahala rain continued to pour. The last thing Nigeria needed was a strike. But that was exactly what happened on Thursday 8th April as the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) went on strike to protest poor working conditions and pay. The jaw-jawing was on when members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) embarked on an indefinite nationwide strike. As the Minister was asking 'what's going on here? I responded 'wahala be like okro soup....e dey draw.'

Surely, that must be all the wahala we can have in a single week. So I thought until I listened to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, raising the alarm over Nigeria’s financial trouble and how the Federal government had to print about N60 billion to augment allocation shared to states in March. I shouted in disbelief 'what's going on in this country? I was still shouting when the March 2021 inflation rate was released to have risen to 18.17% and food inflation jumped to 22.95%, the highest in 4 years. How can the government just print money like campaign flyers and not expect Inflation?' Chai! I was about to say 'wahala dey o' but instead I said 'wahala be like naira, it is never in short supply to politicians.

Wahala here, wahala there, wahala everywhere. It doesn't matter how the wahala be, you will come out better because Psalms 34:19 says 'Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 10 April 2021

WHAT HAS HENRY DONE?

 


I was thinking this morning.... Having spent the better part of my adult life with friends from Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa/Fulani extraction, I am aware that like us Deltans, these tribes also have challenges with pronouncing some letters and words. While the Igbos have L and R factors, the Hausa/Fulanis are challenged with pronouncing 'F' and 'P' words. The Yorubas, on the other hand can't pronounce words with 'H' as the H will be silent. In order to compensate for the 'H' challenge, you hear many educated yorubas, force 'H' into words that don't have it. For instance, they pronounce 'air', (H)air while Hair will be pronounced 'air.'


Against this background, I was worried for my cousin, named Henry when I first saw a newly-painted road sign in Maldon, Essex UK. The sign says "NO Enry." I had initially thought it was written by a yoruba man who had spelt the name 'Henry' the way he pronounces it and left out the letter 'H'. 'What has Henry done?' I imagined. I was still musing when I saw the social media rave about the sign. Apparently, the council staff that painted the words wanted to spell ENTRY but missed out the letter 'T'. While so many people teased and suggested the staff were 'on a T break', one man echoed my sentiment exactly when he joked: "Poor Enry, I feel for 'im".

As my small frame shook with mirth from the sign and comments, I imagined how a minor error could have grave implications. The 'NO ENTRY' sign was meant to stop everyone from taking that route, but someone's error that left out a letter changed the narrative and meant only those called '(H)enry' are barred. Poor Henry! When this happens, I can imagine Henry telling the sign writer, 'If na you dem send, tell dem say you no see me.' 🙂

If your name is Henry and you are denied access because of the 'NO ENRY' sign, do not just turn back and say 'hard luck.' Ask why, as it may just be a simple error because someone is on 'T' break. So many have lost out of their blessings because they are too fearful to ask 'why so?' Do not be afraid to challenge the status quo.

However, when you do challenge the person and the process, please do not attack his person because the man may just be having a bad day. Like the sign writer in Maldon, he made a harmless mistake and had nothing against Henry.

If you feel like Henry, disadvantaged or marginalised for no reason, denied from making progress, do not resign to fate, like Isaiah 41:21 admonishes 'Pesent your case, says the LORD. "Set forth your arguments," says Jacob's King.' If you get no answer from man, ask God in prayers.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 3 April 2021

MIND YOUR LANE

 


I was thinking this morning.... For someone that has lived in Lagos for over 10 years, enduring the traffic is no longer a biggie. I have even developed the habit of picking up life lessons as I drive. Driving from the Island to the Mainland recently, I was on the left lane, in-bound Ikoyi, on Falomo bridge on a light traffic when a Toyota Avensis dangerously swerved into my lane. I stepped on the brakes, narrowly avoiding a collision. I checked to see if the driver was sorry but 'the guy no send' as he drove ahead leaving me behind. I activated my Warri bad boy mode and decided to do James Bond driving to stay ahead of this driver. I swerved to the right lane as the traffic on the left lane came to a stop. I succeeded for a bit and got ahead of the stubborn driver. As I left him behind, I felt a sense of fulfilment but suddenly the right lane stopped moving and I watched the Toyota Avensis drive past me before I could change lane again. He zoomed out of sight while I struggled to change lane. When I finally changed lane like everyone else, I discovered that a LATSMA official had stopped a vehicle on the right lane that made me lose my self-imposed Formula 9 race. As I reflected later on, I saw my error, repented from engaging in an unsafe act and learnt that life is like Lagos traffic: Just mind your lane and you will get to your destination in peace.

Imagine how so many people are provoked by the inappropriate behaviours of others to leave their lane. This can happen between married couples, siblings, brethren or even strangers like in my case. Only recently, a Ghanaian woman reportedly driving at top speed to catch her “cheating” husband, lost control of the vehicle and was fatally injured. Sad! She died cheaply. Women, do not allow your unfaithful husbands provoke you to unhealthy competition about who is smarter. Life is like Lagos traffic: katikati will do you no good. Just mind your lane and you will get to your destination in peace.

Men nko? Do not allow your nagging wife provoke you to unsafe behaviour. You will just die of high BP. Forget all the Warri threat of 'I go change am for you.' It doesn't work. Life is like Lagos traffic, you can change lane all you want but make no appreciable progress. Just stay on your lane and you will get to your destination in peace.

Don't be in an unhealthy competition with anyone, because like Lagos traffic, you can never tell when the traffic will stop on your lane. Also, don't feel bad when it seems the other lane is moving and yours is not. Relax, in good time, your lane will move and you probably will catch up with the other driver you think had gone ahead. And if you don't? Fret not, you both are headed for different destinations. He might be going farther. Mind your lane and you will get to your destination in peace.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 'Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Easter.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 27 March 2021

YOUR THOUGHTS, YOUR LIFE

 


I was thinking this morning..... As we were preparing to celebrate my dad's birthday a couple of weeks ago, I had asked my sister what they were preparing for him, and she responded 'gbagba-fofo' which is a variety of itsekiri perpersoup prepared with sliced okro. Wow! It's been about 20 years since I heard of or ate gbagba-fofo. When I dropped the call, I couldn't help but ponder a bit about the olden days when gbagba-fofo was a regular on our menu. Since gbagba-fofo wasn't one of my favourite soups, I hardly thought about eating it since I left Warri close to 20 years ago.

A week after I had this conversation with my sister, I had reason to lodge at Sheraton Hotel Lagos for some days. On one of the days that I couldn't go to the restaurant, I decided to order room service. When I asked what Nigeria meal they had for lunch, the young lady at the other end responded, 'we have oziza soup and we also have gbagba-fofo.' I was like 'Whoa! What did you say?' My surprise was not so much that they had the soup, but more because it was called the indigenous Itsekiri name.

What are the odds that a week after I thought about gbagba-fofo soup, the hotel I was lodged 1000km from Warri had the soup on their menu? As I considered it, I remembered a statement I read recently that says 'where your mind goes, your life goes.'

Someone might say, 'But if it is true that your life goes where your mind goes, how come my life is still in Nigeria, because my mind has been in America for years?' I don't know, but it could be HT (Home trouble). What I know is that those that focus on being successful and take the right steps, end up being successful.

I understand that things could go wrong and you can't help but think on them. If things go wrong, don't go with it, because if your mind stays with it, your life will go with it. Drag your thoughts away from your challenges, inadequacies and negativity, because where your mind goes, your life goes. No wonder Philippians 4:8 summed it up thus, 'Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report....think on these things.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday